Aisel from Azerbaijan just kicked off the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest rehearsal schedule, being the first act to perform in the first Semi-Final with the song 'X My Heart'.
Aisel, in Azerbaijani, means "the path that leads you to the moon", a message strongly embedded in the lyrics of her Eurovision entry X My Heart. Four backing singers, all dressed in white, joined Aisel on stage, all standing on mountain like props reaching for the top — or to the moon, as the sings: "I’ll never sto-o-o-o-op, luna moon me up. To the t-o-o-op."
The edgy structures of the props also remind us of the Eurovision stage of 2012, when the contest took place in Azerbaijan's capital Baku.
All good emotions
Eurovision.tv caught up with Aisel right after her performance and asked her how she felt about being the first participant up on stage: "I feel great and I'm very impressed with the stage. I'm excited, but at the same time very calm because we worked hard and we're very proud to be here. It's all good emotions for me."
Aisel was born in 1989 in a family of musicians and has been performing most of her life. In November, it was announced that she was internally selected to represent Azerbaijan at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.
For her stage performance Aisel collaborates with the well-known stage director Fokas Evangelinos, who you can see in Aisel's Instagram post above. Fokas is responsible for some of the most memorable performances in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, like the stage presentation of Russia's Sergey Lazarev in 2016.
READ MORE: Aisel's participant profile
Check out our exclusive photo gallery of Aisel's first rehearsal on stage, as well as some exclusive backstage shots as we followed Aisal and her team:
Aisel will take to the stage again on Thursday, 3rd of May, for her second rehearsal.
Azerbaijan takes part in the first Semi-Final on the 8th of May.